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Sephardic Tomato Pilaf


Arroz kon kaldo de tomat is a much-loved rice pilaf made with fresh ripe tomatoes that often appears at the Rhodesli tables.
My grandkids, since they were toddlers, just loved this tomato pilaf so much they renamed it “pink rice” and has since become such a favourite with all my family. I often include a twist adding sautéed onions and earthy protein rich chickpeas which makes this dish more wholesome and so delicious. Either way they are a must-have pilaf that I hope your loved ones will enjoy.


Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and sugar carefully as it will splatter. Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes thicken slightly - about 5 minutes.

Add the rice, coating it in the tomato sauce, stirring gently for a further 1 minute.

Pour the hot water into a heatproof measuring jug, and add the hot broth (or water) and stir in the salt.

Pour the hot liquid into the rice and stir once. Bring to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce the heat to medium and simmer undisturbed for about 25 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and little holes appear on the surface. The grains should be just tender to the bite. Turn off the heat. Stretch a clean folded tea towel over the top of the pan and press the lid tightly on top, securing it in place. Leave the pilaf to stand on the warm stovetop for 10 minutes. The rice grains should be plump, tender and separate from one another.

To serve: Fluff up the rice with a fork and tip the rice into a serving dish.

❖ Twist on Tradition:

  • Fry one small onion, finely chopped, in the oil until softened. Then add the tomato and sugar and continue cooking as above.

  • You can add half a cup canned chickpeas (skins removed) with the onions and then add the tomato - arroz kon tomat y garavansos


3 tbsp olive oil

1 cup peeled, seeded and puréed ripe tomatoes

½ tsp sugar

1 cup long-grain basmati rice, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, rinsed and drained

½ cup hot water

½ hot cup chicken or vegetable broth and ½ cup water

1 tsp salt

Sephardic Tomato Pilaf
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